The Right State of Mind

As the sensations of Childbirth are intensely challenging, you want to make sure your mind is in the right place.

Childbirth is a physiological process that your body has been designed through millions of years of evolution to accomplish easily, calmly and gracefully. We wouldn’t exist as a species if this was not true.

I will write about this a lot but where you choose to place your focus will truly determine your experience.

If you view pregnancy and labor as the natural extension of having children, as a process that like all of motherhood will take strength, determination and endurance, you will feel that giving birth is not only quite doable but that you are up for the challenge.

You get there by understanding the work that needs to be done and by being ready and willing prepare both your body and your mind accordingly.

If you view labor as a problem, if even thinking about it makes you fearful and panicky, you will feel stressed, pressured and pushed.

It is easy to feel confused, there is so much to know and so many choices to make, and so many conflicting “answers” out there.

An anxious fragmented mind makes it difficult to make clear focused decisions about anything in life much less about the upcoming birth of your baby and your new role as mother to this child.

It is easy to let Childbirth overwhelm your thoughts, feelings and emotions and you may very well find yourself avoiding making decisions. Our minds tend to freeze up when they get overwhelmed.

The consequence of avoidance is that it can stem from a place of anxiety, stress, and fear—obviously not the ideal mind set to be in when your labor does actually begin.

If you are looking for a different approach, then you are in the right place, welcome to the “Whole”.

Instead of running away, fighting against, or freezing up, why not take a moment to become still and just watch, let be…determine what is really going on and making decisions based on your own personal reality.

Establish a regular practice of stillness, take the time to really listen to what lies underneath the chatter, to the needs of your body, and learn to calm your fears, your uncertainty with right knowledge and appropriate actions.

When right knowledge replaces ignorance then fear, stress and anxiety are released.

The same common sense practice that Yoga offers as a recipe for a quiet mind that is free of suffering.

Learning to take this whole process moment by moment, breath by breath, contraction by contraction— releasing and relaxing towards the inevitable birth of your child instead of letting fear and anxiety pull you up and away from the process.

Then not only will you be able to navigate your pregnancy with ease and comfort, you will be able to create a calm and positive birth experience for yourself, which will in turn remove some of the stress out of becoming a new mom.

Using this viewpoint as your focus during your labor will enable you to look back at your Birth Experience with satisfaction, empowerment and joy.

In the 1990’s, Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi coined the term “Flow State” and described it as an optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.

Flow state a very good place for your mind to dwell during birth.  It is certainly where I would want my mind and my focus to be, and it is certainly the focus I try to facilitate in my clients.

It may not be easy to get into a mindset that will allow “flow” to occur, it will take a fair amount of preparatory work, but any job worth doing is worth doing well.

In this section of The Whole Way you will find many posts, some about specific tools, some about general knowledge, some about Yoga, and some about the specifics of labor and birth.

If you are ever to get your mind in the right place about Childbirth then you need to know what is really going on, if you have the right knowledge it is easy to apply appropriate positive action.

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